Ezra Patchett

Jessica Jones

Ezra Patchett


Ezra Patchett
Fill 1
Fill 1
December 03, 2015
Online Originals

The Dolphin Spirit

Actor Eka Darville brings a sense of freshness and movement to Jessica Jones.

Eka Darville is all smiles. 

He has a featured role as the multi-layered Malcolm Ducasse on Marvel’s new and critically acclaimed Netflix TV series Jessica Jones, which focuses on a former superhero (played by Krysten Ritter) who redesigns her life as a private investigator.

Malcolm is a neighbor to Jessica, and both have issues with substance abuse.  But while he attempts to break his, she doesn’t even acknowledge hers.

The distance in disposition is vast between Darville and Ducasse but, according to the actor, a few key traits remain common ground, “regardless of moral flexibility.  Malcolm has a core of goodness, and grew up as an outsider, but always tries to do the right thing…to achieve.  He feels a lack of belonging, yet sees all perspectives, and this resonates with my real life…a sense of always being different.”

Darville, of Jamaican and Canadian descent, hails from Australia with a first name (pronounced “EE-kah”) which, when translated, means “dolphin spirit.”

The term is a good fit for Darville’s down-to-earth nature. “I was born with it,” he muses. 

Off-screen, Darville’s diverse heritage adds rich texture to his real life, while his objective in portraying Malcolm moves beyond racial boundaries. 

While Darville has a dynamic sense of self, he says Malcolm has “a strong sense of shame.”  It all stems from a “state of perpetual fear, and doing wrong…all wrapped up in a painful world” - one that pervades Jessica Jones’s gritty setting.

Tapping into Marvel’s increasing mainstream appeal helps to further Darville’s career objectives.  He always imagined a role within the Marvel universe, although admittedly playing sensitive addict Malcolm was not exactly how he “envisioned that playing out.”

“I feel like I’m actually getting the best of all worlds,” he says, “…a unique position [with which] to tell a Marvel story in a unique way.”

What Darville brings to playing Ducasse, is analogous to what he’s brought to previous roles on shows like The Originals (for The CW), Spartacus: Blood and Sand (Starz), and Empire (Fox), in the latter of which he portrayed a provocative, recurring role as Ryan Morgan (opposite Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon). 

When interpreting any character, Darville always tries “to come from a place of compassion…and to keep things fresh.” 

“I’ve been very blessed to have worked on some fantastic projects,” he adds. “And I’ve never really had a very calculated path in the way I view my career.”  But he enjoys taking risks to hone his craft, and to portray “dimensional characters in rich, compelling stories.” 

Meanwhile, Darville welcomes the opportunity to delve deeper into Malcolm’s psyche on Jones.  “I would like to know more about each of the characters,” he says.  “There’s a lot of room for growth in every direction.”

With his life or career, Darville stands stoic, and retains balance.  “It’s easy to get lost in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood,” he says. “But one of my endeavors is to keep it all grounded.”

Darville, married and a parent at only 26, credits his “wonderful and beautiful” wife and young son for helping to keep perspective. “Extremely cautious” and focused in his most important role as a dad, Darville makes “every effort to be the best father possible.”

“I appreciate every single moment in life,” he concludes, and his truest satisfaction stems from “living a life in my highest joy.”

The “dolphin spirit” lives on.

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